DEXTER - Construction on the new Corinna/Dexter Regional EMS facility has been completed, and Mayo Emergency Medical Service staff are scheduled to occupy the ambulance base by the end of January.
An open house and community health fair is planned at the base, located on Route 7 at the southern entrance to Dexter, on Saturday, Feb. 16, from 7:30-11:30 a.m.
Mayo Regional Hospital acquired the former Kaufman Motor Co. property last summer and moved forward with a $400,000 project to transform two existing buildings on the 3-acre site into a regional ambulance base. The new base replaces separate, aging facilities in Dexter and Corinna.
The property originally included two, four-year-old buildings: a two-bay garage and an office. A third bay was constructed on the garage, and a connector was built to join the two buildings. The end product is one, 2,500-square-foot structure with room for three ambulances, an office and crew sleeping quarters.
Mayo Regional EMS Chief Brian Mullis said the base will be staffed with two crews, 7 days per week, 24 hours per day, working a combination of full-time and on-call staffing. A paramedic will be on an estimated 98 percent of emergency calls, providing a higher level of patient care than an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). Paramedics can assist in diagnosing heart attacks and strokes in the field, they can give pain medications and anti-seizure medications, and help in stabilizing heart attacks.
The development of a paramedic-level service by Mayo Regional EMS was a key factor in last year’s designation by the state of Corinna, Dexter and surrounding towns as Maine HeartSafe Communities.
The location of the new base near the intersection of Routes 7 and 94 in Dexter will improve average response times to neighboring communities, said Mullis. In 2007, Mayo Regional EMS had 3,852 total ambulance runs, with nearly one-third of those coming in the Corinna/Dexter area. Run totals included Dexter, 799; Corinna, 174; Garland, 72; Exeter, 72; Ripley, 36; and 82 calls for mutual aid to towns covered by the Sebasticook Valley ambulance system.
The average response time last year from Dexter to Corinna from the time of 911 call to arrival of a crew on scene was 9 minutes, according to Mullis. He said location of the new base on the south side of Dexter is expected to reduce response times to Corinna by 2-3 minutes on average.
Mayo Regional EMS has 52 staff working from bases at Dover-Foxcroft and Dexter. The group includes 21 paramedics, 14 EMT-Intermediates, 10 basic EMTs and seven drivers. Of those staff, 28 are certified in Crisis Intervention Training, and Mayo has been nationally recognized for using the CIT model, designed to improve treatment for people with mental health crises. Mayo also has 17 staff with wilderness EMS training, and Mullis noted Mayo is the only EMS service in Maine that maintains a wilderness advanced life support team for back country rescue support.
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